American Sociological Association

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  1. Share, Show, and Tell: Group Discussion or Simulations Versus Lecture Teaching Strategies in a Research Methods Course

    Impacts of incorporating active learning pedagogies into a lecture-based course were examined among 266 students across nine research methods course sections taught by one instructor at a large public university. Pedagogies evaluated include lecture only, lecture with small group discussions, and lecture with simulations. Although lecture-simulations sections outperformed lecture-only sections on one outcome measure, few performance differences appeared between lecture-only and alternative groups.
  2. Do They Have to Like It to Learn from It? Students’ Experiences, Group Dynamics, and Learning Outcomes in Group Research Projects

    Small-group pedagogies, such as group research projects, are a common instructional method in undergraduate education. The literature suggests that small-group learning has positive effects on learning outcomes, but some students have negative attitudes toward group work, and student complaints about negative group dynamics, such as free-riding, are common.
  3. Teaching Note: Social Networks and Labor Market Inequality: A Role-playing Activity to Teach Difficult Concepts

    Role-playing activities, as a form of active learning, enable instructors to teach difficult concepts in ways that better facilitate student learning. This note tests the effectiveness of a role-playing activity that simulates the job market: Most students play job seekers seeking employment, and a few play the employers who make employment decisions. However, students are constrained in that they can only talk to students they already know or meet during the game.
  4. Environmental Justice and Public Beach Access

    Beaches are an important recreational setting due to their provision of ideal open spaces for diverse water‐ and land‐based recreation opportunities. Despite the importance of assessing the environmental justice of public beach access, few empirical studies have been conducted in community recreation. Using an environmental justice framework, this study examined whether inequities exist for certain racial/ethnic and socioeconomic groups with respect to the distribution of public beach access in the Detroit Metropolitan Area.

  5. The Commons: Separating Tragedy and Triumph at a City Park

    Littering in a city park is often considered a capricious act of neglect associated with simple carelessness. Using Ostrom's model, Governing the Commons, this research finds that littering is correlated with specific park activities. This article advances our understanding of the Commons and littering by considering the concept of “pollution,” as well as understanding patterns of litter for a communal city.

  6. Do Green Behaviors Earn Social Status?

    Do green behaviors earn social status among liberals and conservatives? Although evidence shows that high-status consumers incorporate ecological concerns into their consumption choices, politically polarized views on environmentalism in the United States complicate the relationship between green behaviors and status. A vignette experiment shows that across political ideology, people grant status to green consumption. Results from semistructured interviews suggest that green consumers are seen as wealthy, knowledgeable, and ethical, although these status beliefs vary with political ideology.
  7. Integrating Community-based Research into a Senior Capstone Seminar: Lessons Learned from a Mixed-methods Study

    This article describes a senior capstone, Neighborhoods and Health, which used community-based research (CBR) as its primary pedagogy. Students in the course drew upon multiple research methods and forms of data to provide our partner, the Urban Farming Institute of Boston, with an array of research products in support of the revitalization of a historic farm in the Boston neighborhood of Mattapan.

  8. “I Understand What They’re Going through”: How Socioeconomic Background Shapes the Student Service-learning Experience

    Traditional service-learning pedagogy assumes that learning occurs when contact between relatively advantaged students and a relatively disadvantaged service population reduces prejudice. However, little is known about how students whose backgrounds are similar to the populations they serve process this learning experience. This study explores the connections between socioeconomic status and learning trajectories within service-learning. Students provided written reflections on a service-learning experience focused on food insecurity as part of course requirements.

  9. Exploring Classroom Climate in Sociology Courses Using Syllabi

    The classroom climate shapes students’ learning and instructors’ teaching experience in profound ways. This study analyzes classroom climate statements in syllabi from various sociology courses to understand the extent that sociology instructors highlight climate issues and how climate is conceptualized in their syllabi. Drawing from data from two different times periods (pre-2005 and post-2010), the current study examines the frequency of classroom climate statements, the factors that may contribute to the presence of a statement, and themes within these statements.

  10. Sociology, Teaching, and Reflective Practice: Using Writing to Improve

    The scholarly literature on teaching sociology contains relatively little about improving courses from one semester to the next. In this article, I describe a method for continual teaching improvement that is based on writing, the well-established practice of teacher reflection, and classical sociological principles. This method was developed through the analysis of nine semesters of autoethnographic data that I collected in the form of daily reflective notes.